Yes, it’s time for the great Minnesota deep freeze. There’s nothing like it, is there? All the extra chilly weather also means that we are using heating and cooking appliances more and getting less fresh air in the house. All of that adds up to the possible danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas found in the fumes that are produced anytime you burn fuel in things like engines, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, furnaces or gas ranges – at least some of which you use in the winter. The problem comes when those items aren’t properly ventilated or if they malfunction. If, say, the dryer vent outside your house gets blocked with snow, it can cause CO buildup. Using a charcoal grill indoors or a gas generator too close to a window can do the same thing.
Because the symptoms of CO poisoning are much like those of the flu (headaches, dizziness and nausea), it can be difficult to pinpoint before it’s too late. That’s why it’s incredibly important to have a CO alarm. A CO alarm can be the difference between life and death for you and your family. Place one on every level of your home and test them monthly.
Make sure to take similar precautions in the garage. No one likes getting into a freezing car, so it’s tempting to turn on the engine and warm it up. But if you do, pull it out of the garage first. That way CO won’t leak into your home while you go in and out of the house.
Are you an ice angler? While you’re at the home improvement store, grab a portable CO alarm for your ice fishing house, especially if you use a heating unit. Be sure whatever heat source you use is properly ventilated and made for indoor use. CO poisoning is a real threat, but with the right precautions, CO poisoning is a threat you can deal with. So if you’ve taken the right precautions, you can relax knowing that you and your family are safe.